Raw Material Commodities in Brazil

Sacks of coffee beans, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Steve Outram/ Photographer's Choice RF/ Getty Images

Brazil has become a major player in commodities during the last couple decades. The country is a major producer of coffee, soybeans, corn, sugar, and orange juice. The rapid increase in agricultural production in recent decades from Brazil has been a positive for the world as it likely prevented massive shortages in global food inventories.

Brazil has received massive investment in their agricultural sector in recent years.

Large hedge funds have invested in agricultural land, and valuations have increased substantially. The Brazilian government has tried to prevent foreigners from investing in their land. However, China has also made investments in the nation. China is the world's largest consumer of commodities as it is the country in the world with the biggest population.

Investment in the Brazilian agricultural sector has helped to bring the country into the twenty-first century and now there is widespread use of modern farm equipment from companies like John Deere and other leading manufacturers. Brazilian production has become more efficient in recent years, and the nation has increased production volume of many agricultural commodities. Brazil competes with other countries in the world export market for many commodities.

Coffee

Brazil is the world leader when it comes to coffee production. They are the largest producer in the world of high-quality Arabica beans.

Vietnam is the world's  biggest producer of Robusta beans. Colombia is the second largest producer of Arabica beans, but they are a distant second to Brazil.

The path of least resistance for the price of coffee often depends on Brazil. Coffee is a very volatile commodity, and traders understand that Brazilian production dictates market direction.

Each year, the coffee-growing regions in Brazil worry about threats of a freeze. On average, every five years a freeze in Brazil causes problems with the coffee crop. Adverse weather conditions will cause the price of coffee to soar. 

Brazilian coffee has an odd growing cycle. The nation switches between on and off years. In an “on” year there is ample and full production, during these years the Brazilians tend to replenish stockpiles. The "off" years frequently experience a drop in production of 10 to 20 percent. 

Grains

Soybeans are the primary focus of Brazilian agriculture. Brazil has become competitive in production with the U.S., the world's number one producer of beans. Almost all of the soybeans produced in the U.S. are the genetically modified soybeans. Brazil has been more reluctant to use this variety.

Corn is also a major crop in Brazil, but the U.S. dominates world corn production. Brazilian farmers have become efficient, but problems in Brazilian infrastructure have limited the ability of the country to achieve its potential.

Brazil does not have the transportation and logistical system necessary to compete with the Untied States. Strikes and logistical problems are persistent problems Brazil faces.

Orange Juice

Most people think of Florida when it comes to orange juice. Florida was the world’s leader in orange juice production, but Brazil has taken over the lead in recent years. The Brazilian climate and fertile arable soil of the nation provides an enormous potential for growth when it comes to many agricultural commodities in the South American country. 

Sugar

Brazil is the world's leading producer of sugar. A vast majority of Brazil's sugar production becomes sugar-based ethanol via processing within the nation. Ethanol filling stations in Brazil are as common as gas stations.

The growth in commodities in Brazil should continue as the nation has a long way to go to reach its potential. Massive investment in agriculture in recent years should continue to reap rewards. A modernization of their infrastructure would help tremendously. Brazil is one of the top commodity producers in the world, but a modernization of infrastructure will increase their position as one of the world's major suppliers of food and raw materials.

Brazil Moves Commodity Prices

As one of the largest commodity producers in the world, the Brazilian economy depends on revenues from raw materials produced in the nation. Therefore, the Brazilian currency, the real, often moves higher and lower as a result of strong or weak commodity prices. Commodity currencies are like a basket of commodity prices, and some people invest in the currency of Brazil or other major commodity producers like Canada, Australia or Russia when they are bullish on commodity prices. In a similar way, when bearish on commodity prices, some investors and traders go short these commodity currencies.

Brazil is a nation rich in minerals, nonferrous and ferrous metals, energy and agricultural commodities as a result of the country’s geography and climate. In fact, Brazil is the world’s largest producer of many commodities, and it is also a major consumer because it is one of the most populous nations in South America. If you are trading or investing in commodity markets, pay attention to developments in Brazil as they could affect prices all over the world. Political and economic developments in Brazil can cause the prices of commodities to move. 

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